40 Years After Son of Sam's Arrest, Archive Photos Show Dramatic Scenes From One of the Most Notorious Killing Sprees in American History

Dramatic archive photos capture one of the most terrifying years in New York City history, and the legacy of one of America's most notorious serial killers.

36 photos
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Four of the six people who were killed by David Berkowitz, known as the Son of Sam or the .44 Caliber Killer, on Aug. 11, 1977. Berkowitz was arrested the day before. From left are Valentina Suriani, Christine Freund, Virginia Voskerichian and Stacy Moskowitz.
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AP Photo/Hal Goldenberg
David Berkowitz is taken into police headquarters in New York City early Thursday Aug. 11, 1977. Authorities said he was arrested in his apartment in Yonkers.
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AP
A police sketch of the Son of Sam killer is seen on a desk at police headquarters on July 29, 1977.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Unidentified officers of the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn read news of the capture of David Berkowitz on Aug. 11, 1977.
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AP Photo/David Pickoff
Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz is taken from police headquarters in New York to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn for psychiatric observation on Aug. 11, 1977.
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AP Photo/Frehm
New York City police hold back crowds at Kings County hospital in New York on Aug. 16 1977 as a corrections department van accompanied by six police cars leaves for Brooklyn criminal court for Berkowitz's arraignment in the July slaying of one of his victims, Stacy Moskowitz. "This is the most protection have ever seen a prisoner get in the 20 years I've worked in the building," said one court officer at the time.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Some of an estimated 75 relatives and friends of victims of the "Son of Sam" killer hold signs on Sept. 21, 1977, as they march outside the Kings County Psychiatric Center in Brooklyn, where Berkowitz underwent psychiatric evaluation.
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AP
These handwritten messages were found on the wall in Berkowitz's apartment on Aug. 12, 1977.
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AP
Police rope off the area around a car as they search for evidence in the early morning hours of July 31, 1977, after Berkowitz shot a young couple parked in a secluded lovers' lane in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn.
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AP
Neysa, left, and Jerome Moskowitz talk with newsmen in New York on Aug. 2, 1977 after they learned that their 20-year-old daughter Stacy had died of gunshot wounds inflicted by the man known as the Son of Sam. Stacy and her date, Robert Violante, 20, were shot by the gunman while parked on a date.
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AP
People stand outside of the Elephas nightclub in the early morning hours of June 26, 1977, in the Bayside section of Queens, where a young couple parked near the club were shot by the Son of Sam.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Magazine clips and a "last letter" found in Berkowitz's car are displayed in Brooklyn a day after his arrest.
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AP
A police officer stands by a car in a toll booth in New York, June 26, 1977, where cops were stopping cars containing white men during a search for the Son of Sam killer.
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AP
Detectives investigate the area around a parked car where a young couple was shot in Queens on June 26, 1977. The woman and her companion were shot as they sat in the parked car and a police spokesman said the pattern would indicate the gunman may have been the Son of Sam, believe responsible for five murders since July 1977.
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AP
New York City police are seen at work on the Son of Sam serial killer case at police headquarters in New York on July 19, 1977.
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AP
A group of Brookynites read about the capture of Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz in the Daily News on Aug. 10, 1977.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Part of a letter written by Berkowitz was published Aug. 15, 1977. The letter, written while Berkowitz was in the army, stationed in Korea in 1972, was addressed to a teenage sweetheart, Iris Gerhardt.
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AP
David Berkowitz sits on a bunk in his isolation cell at Kings County Hospital in 1977.
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AP
John Keenan, chief of detectives, speaks at a press conference at NYPD headquarters after two new sketches of the Son of Sam were unveiled at right, Aug. 9, 1977.
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AP
Residents of Bensonhurst and police officers stand near the scene of a Son of Sam shooting at Shore Parkway and Bay 16 on July 31, 1977. (AP Photo)
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AP
Here's another look at that July 31, 1977 crime scene.
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AP
It was the eighth and last shooting in the spree. Stacy Moskowitz was killed.
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AP
Moskowitz and Bobby Violante had gone at a date to Jasmine’s discoteque on Third Avenue before they were shot. Here's a look at the building on July 31, 1977. (AP Photo/Ira Schwartz)
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AP
Then New York City Chief of Detectives John Keenan, left, and Deputy Commissioner Frank McLoughlin, second from left, answer reporter questions during a press conference in the 109th Precinct in Queens on Aug. 2, 1977.
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AP
A van carrying Berkowitz to a Brooklyn hospital for psychiatric observation is seen not long after his 1977 capture.
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AP
Police go through Berkowitz's Yonkers apartment on Aug. 11, 1977, a day after his capture.
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AP
Julia Berkowitz, Berkowitz's stepmother, eaves her apartment in Boynton, Florida, the day after his arrest.
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AP
Detectives examine Berkowitz’s car in Brooklyn, on Aug. 11, 1977.
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AP
Police found this note, along with a gun, in Berkowitz's car.
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AP
Here's an exterior shot of the 35 Pine Street building in Yonkers where Berkowitz lived. It was taken Aug. 11, 1977.
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AP
People read about the Son of Sam arrest in August 1977.
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AP
There were the front pages of local tabloids on Aug. 11, 1977.
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AP
Billy Wheeler, manager of a pawn shop in northwest Houston, Texas, said on Aug. 11, 1977 he sold Berkowitz the gun used in the shootings. Wheeler says federal agents picked up a copy of the sales record on the 1976 gun purchase. He told the agents he did not remember anything about the purchaser. Federal agents said the gun was purchased by Billy Dan parker of Houston.
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AP Photo/Pickoff
An armored police van arrives outside Brooklyn court on May 8, 1978. Minutes later, the ex-postal clerk told a packed courtroom that he was the "Son of Sam" killer who gunned down 20-year-old Stacy Moskowitz during a year-long random murder spree. “It was wrong,” the 24-year-old Berkowitz said to Judge Joseph R. Corso.
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AP
An armored van carrying convicted Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz leaves Brooklyn Superior Court on June 12, 1978 after Berkowitz was sentenced for six murders and 7 woundings. He was sentenced to a total of 315 years in prison.
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